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Man accused of hitting Metro bus driver identified

Alicia Banks

1:41 AM EDT, June 20, 2014

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Authorities have identified the 51-year-old man they say struck a Metro bus driver Thursday morning. 

Louis Bruce Gardner was booked into the Twin Towers Correctional Facility shortly after 6 a.m. His bond was set at $50,000, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's website. 

About 4:20 a.m. Thursday, the bus driver made a stop on North Highland Avenue at Santa Monica Boulevard. According to the Sheriff's Department's Transit Services Bureau, Gardner struck the driver in the face before fleeing. 

Witnesses followed Gardner, who hid in bushes outside a nearby fast-food restaurant, which is where deputies found him. The driver, who has worked with Metro since 2000, identified him as her attacker, authorities said.

The driver, whose name was not released, was treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and sent home.

From 2012 to March 18 of this year, Metro reported 12 assaults on its bus drivers, said Metro spokesman Paul Gonzales. 

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